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    1st TSC Selects 2013 Soldier and NCO of the Year

    1st TSC Selects 2013 Soldier and NCO of the Year

    Photo By Staff Sgt. James Burroughs | The 2013 1st TSC NCO of the year is Sgt. William D. Cook, a parachute rigger from...... read more read more

    CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait -- After a week-long competition during which nineteen soldiers and non-commissioned officers worked to claim the title of 1st Theater Sustainment Command’s Soldier and Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year, both titles went to the soldier and non-commissioned officer representing the 311th Expeditionary Sustainment Command.

    The 2013 1st TSC NCO of the year is Sgt. William D. Cook, a parachute rigger from Dallas who is assigned to the 647th Quartermaster Detachment, 311th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, 1st Theater Sustainment Command.

    The Soldier of the year is Spc. Jacob R. Valderrama, a horizontal construction engineer from Morgan Hill, CA., who is assigned to 557th Engineer Company, 43rd Sustainment Brigade, 311th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, 1st Theater Sustainment Command.

    The long days of competition tested each soldier's mettle as they each demonstrated physical and mental conditioning, while exhibiting tactical leadership and soldier knowledge and skills in the 100 F degree heat of Kuwait.

    Each Soldier participated in an Army Physical Fitness Test, rifle and pistol qualification ranges, a written test, practical tests of warrior skills and a final examination board made up of Command Sergeants Major from the 1st TSC and reporting units.

    “The board was the roughest part,” said Valderrama. “If I did well on this board I knew I would do well in my career. Compared to this week the sergeant promotion board will be nothing.”
    “I am impressed with the quality of Soldiers we have here,” said the 1st TSC’s Command Sgt. Major Charles M. Tobin after he had interviewed each of the candidates. ”I ask myself where do these great Americans come from?”

    Cook, a Texas native, said he knew what it was going to take to win. He followed the guidance of a man he called his mentor, Master Sgt. Gary Kondo, also from the 647th QM Detachment.
    Kondo explained that he was ready to help Cook in any way he could but the sergeant really only needed encouragement.
    “Cook is a dedicated Soldier and he worked daily to prepare,” Kondo said.

    Both soldiers travelled from Afghanistan to compete in Kuwait.

    To compete at the 1st TSC level, each of these soldiers' had to earn the right by training and preparing for their success in a series of unit level competitions beginning at their respective battalions, continuing through brigade and division level.

    The winners of the competition received their awards at a ceremony held at the Camp Arifjan Chapel on May 5. Col. Carl Johnson, 1st TSC Deputy Chief of Staff and Command Sgt. Maj. Charles Tobin, 1st TSC Command Sergeant Major, presented this year's awards.

    “I am impressed with both soldiers’ competence and confidence,” added Tobin. “I think we can take the win at ARCENT’s competition.”

    Tobin’s faith in both soldiers’ ability was fulfilled when each won again at the next level of competition in Army Central Command’s Soldier and NCO of the Year Competition held two weeks later.
    Both Soldiers are scheduled to travel to Fort Bragg, N.C. for a higher level competition where they will vie to win United States Army Forces Command Soldier and NCO of the Year.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 06.07.2013
    Date Posted: 06.07.2013 01:05
    Story ID: 108215
    Location: CAMP ARIFJAN, KW 
    Hometown: DALLAS, TX, US
    Hometown: MORGAN HILL, CA, US

    Web Views: 171
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